5,000 Challenge

Trail Baboon?

I was thinking I wanted this blog to have a familiar title – something easy to recognize, but sly.  A turn of phrase that describes information that’s sent out solely for the purpose of observing the reaction of the audience. Something catchy but common.  However, somebody else has that title locked up, and so one must make do with the opportunity that one has.

Maybe “Braille Typhoon” would be better. “Teal Ballroom”? I’m open to suggestions.

This was how we started out 7 years ago – a rag tag bunch still mourning the end of TLGMS and following our favorite DJ into a new venture. Earlier this year we completely hijacked the trail and made it our own.

And as of yesterday, we have 5,000 followers to our little blog. Some days it feels quiet on the Trail, but even then we have many likes and probably a few lurkers.

I have a challenge today. If you are reading this blog, but have never commented, please put one quick comment out there.  One word or two or even a sentence is fine.  If you been here before you know we are a kind community and we’d love to hear from you.

For everybody else – do you remember your first comment on the Trail (or the Trial Balloon)?

88 thoughts on “5,000 Challenge”

  1. if youve commented before
    right here on the trail
    then you know how to do it

    if youve been but but quiet
    lurking off in the corner
    its not hard, tap the keyboard
    jump in

    it doesnt much matter what words hit the page
    just start typing and see where they fall

    or you can use voice activated recording
    in which case you dont type at all

    the trail is a place where the rules are flexible
    or maybe theyre free to dismiss

    but please leave the unspoken out of duscussion
    he ruins the mood we get pissed

    say hello howdy morning or type 123
    verily sherrily want to get you to say hi

    we show up many mornings to see whos here trailing
    and in the late of the eveining good night

    but if you want to stay lurking it is permitted
    you dont have to let in be known

    that the trail is the place where you go when you long
    for a soul that is open to growing

    we show up and discuss the things that we must
    and we often resolve something too

    remember the video of the baboons through windows
    having fun flinging piles of fresh poo

    i can see why youd be ok not chiming in
    its a predictably unpredictable group

    but throw your name on the wall just write anything at all
    and well add it to our baboon poop

    Liked by 8 people

  2. I’m somewhat new…I’ve never had a problem commenting….and I look to email for Trail Baboon first thing in the morning…with my coffee at hand. Whether or not I have commented…I read….I enjoy…I feel connected despite my young time with you.

    Ido not remember my first comment…I jabber much and often….and I do mean much for often I ramble long responses.

    It is a joy to me to read….a joy to me to write and a delight for response to anything I’ve written.

    Good rainy morning from slilyss!….on Psrk Lake…near Mahtowa….near Duluth: ‘Up North’

    Liked by 4 people

      1. No…it’s Susan….Susan Lily Swanson Swartz….husband used to call me S. Lily…..
        My “work” name I included my ‘maiden’ name (sounds so outdated!) …Susan Swanson Swartz or S.S.S.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. I remember the original Trial Balloon and it always fascinated me how tied it was to when TLGMS was on the air – by 9:30 or 10 each morning, comments were pretty much done for the day. It truly was an extension of the show. I don’t remember my first comment, but I do remember being delighted to have a guest post on it.

    My morning routine has shifted over time, so I’m not as regular now as I used to be – but gosh I have enjoyed this touchstone, this community in my world.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    I do not remember my first comment, but I know it came soon after the demise of the TLGMS. And I certainly enjoy it. Welcome to the Trail to any commenters out there.

    I have a post almost ready to go, but can’t finish it today. Tuesdays are brutally tiring these days.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. My first comment was on July 15, 2015. If I remember correctly, I didn’t comment again for several months. Some days I have something to add, some days not. I first came to the Trail through my wife, Robin, who was alerted about the Trail by BiR.
    Since I don’t do Facebook, this is really my only social media, other than the occasional comment on various arcane sites.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I was going to protest, Bill, that the 2015 date could not be correct. When we chatted at my house before the “garden party” in late April, 2012 that Robin had so kindly organized, you introduced yourself as “billinmpls.”

        Liked by 1 person

        1. 2015 was a slip of the finger, I guess, and a failure once again to proofread before I posted. I suspect that my proofreading is compromised by the iPad mini diminutive screen.

          Liked by 2 people

  6. my first comment on the trail was something about telling mpr boss bill kline what we all thought of him and how we should shift our funding to dales new enterprise
    dale emailed me on the side and asked me to knock it off

    Liked by 6 people

  7. I don’t recall my first post and I’m not clever enough to get WordPress to tell me. I think I made one or two comments on Trial Balloon just before it was renamed and became written by baboons. 2010? Back then Barb from Blackhoof often posted about Steve, her husband, so I showed up here as Saint Paul Steve. In three weeks I’ll have my third username. My, how the time flies when you aren’t paying attention.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Let’s see, Jim Ed retired at end of 2008, and Dale started Radio Heartland right away, so I would have dipped my toe in the water Feb or March 2009. Don’t remember first post except that I would have not expected I’d be a regular, wasn’t even sure what a blog was. But then it started to be kind of fun seeing the same names under comments, and the comments were often funny and smart and interesting…

    I do remember that Dale asked for the first round of blog posts on Trial Balloon that autumn when he was going on vacation. I have saved all of my guest posts – this was called “The Allure of Radicalism”, posted 9-25-09. Maybe I should submit it for a post now! It would be new to a lot of baboons.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Went into Admin and searched all posts by date, found the first one and then clicked on one of the comments… it opened up the whole page for that day!


  9. I do remember my first comment on the Trial Balloon after lurking a few weeks. The comment will tell me the date, which I will research after I get some furniture back in place.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My first comment was back on Balloon. I don’t remember what the question was that day, but my answer was something about Hansel & Gretel. I sang a song from it on stage when I was five – supposedly extremely out of character for me (according to Nonny). I’d been lurking for a while, but got up my courage that day – have never looked back!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I was stumbling around barefoot looking for my clothes one morning in the early 1990s when I thought, “God, getting going in the morning would be impossible without Jim Ed and Dale.” And as soon as I’d thought that, I realized the morning would come when my favorite morning radio friends would not be there to help me. From that moment on I listened each morning knowing that the show would inevitably end, which put a sort of spin on how I felt about it. Can you be nostalgic for something you haven’t yet lost? It seemed so.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. i used to write an april fools guest blog unrequested by dale and submit and he would state dryly that it was probably be about the way the show would close and it was.

        if i remember right we started the blog on tlgms and would talk about the tunes as they played. then the trial balloon then the trail baboon. i remember the morning show blog would end abruptly at 901 and i would go in late sometimes and comment just for those others who looked back, there were not a lot of late night readers but enough to keep me from waiting to list a blog post until the next day.


    2. I still grieve the loss of TLGMS and remember it so fondly. And it still seems a dumb move by management to axe it. But then, they did not ask me.

      But whenever I hear the plea for “remember MPR in your estate planning,” I think, no way. Not after that. There are consequences for management decisions.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. After this post raising the topic, I will listen to the last LGMS sometime soon.
      A la yesterday’s post. I sat on my deck drinking coffee with the rain falling straight down all around me.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Yup, I was there the first day. I remember when Jim Ed announced that he was retiring on the LGMS and I thought my world was going to end. Once Dale started on Radio Heartland, it was such a relief and I started posting the very first day, so relieved to have a community of people who loved the show like I did.

    The first months were pretty squirrelly as you couldn’t reply to someone’s post like here. It was just this long list of comments, requests and Dale’s occasional replies, but it worked and we loved it. We even managed to set up our first outing just from that. I was always amused how the comments would line up with the songs. Someone would hear their favorite song and comment on it. That was back when I worked part time so I was able to fully participate. Full time jobs are good for paying the bills and having insurance, but are a total time suck! 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I believe that was the first one, and I was there. There was also a picnic at Minnehaha Park, but I think that was later. I missed that one.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I remember it well; without discussing it ahead of time, we all brought food! I think we’ve done a Minnehaha meeting every summer, haven’t we? In addition to Steve’s surprise party!


        2. Yep, Steve’s surprise 70th birthday party, June 12, 2012. I also recall a book club meeting at Minnehaha Park. Only a few people showed up for that one: Linda, Jim, tim, and me, that was in September of 2013.

          Other field trips I’ve participated in: Guthrie Theater for a performance of H.M.S. Pinafore, and two separate excursions to the American Swedish Institute to view an exhibit of exquisite weavings, and another of fine paper cuttings. And not to be forgotten, the wonderful “memorial service” for Jim Ed Poole at the Fitzgerald Theatre. Each of these excursions have provided the opportunity to meet and get to know individual baboons a little better.

          One thing that I love about this “community” is the willingness of people to go out of their way to reach out to other baboons. For example, Renee in ND invited husband to stay at her house on one of his solo road trips. Who does that? Invites a perfect stranger to stay at your house? A fellow baboon, that’s who. If you ever come to the Twin Cities for a visit Wes, we have a spare room where you can crash.

          Liked by 4 people

        3. I’m not sure what constitutes a field trip. A bunch of us met once at a church in South Minneapolis to hear Peter Mayer in concert. I’m thinking it was March or April of 2010, close to the release of his album Heavens Below. In addition to the usual suspects, Aaron was there, and the Guy in the Hat. And Donna!

          Liked by 1 person

  12. I was always a LGMS devotee and deeply mourned it’s loss. I found Trial Balloon days and was a devout lurker through it’s existence but never commented. I don’t recall my first comment, but I know it was on the Trail. I’m sure that the community we have here must be unique in the blogosphere; long may it live!

    Liked by 4 people

  13. I don’t remember month or day of my first comment and have no idea of how to figure it out – or don’t care enough to try to figure it out. But I think, maybe, it was in the warmer months, late spring or summer. No idea what year, but it wasn’t from the beginning and it was several years ago. I stumbled on the blog one day and lurked regularly for several months. I do remember (sort of) the question of the day…it was a guest post at a time when Dale wrote 99.9% of the posts, something about books from childhood. I screwed up my courage and put up a comment and was amazed that people actually responded and welcomed me. Meeting some of the baboons in person was a similar experience; I was nervous, but soon realized that there was no need to be nervous – baboons are just regular folks, no pretensions, friendly, accepting, and no demands to think or behave exactly like them.

    Liked by 4 people

        1. It does include Lisa. She’s the one wearing the sunglasses. You’re probably looking for her in the green dress, but she changed out of that before gardening.


        2. The only baboon present but not in the photo is the photographer, and that, of course, was Steve.


        3. No stump, Bill, but you did choose to stand at the high end of a sloping flower bed.

          That flower bed, by the way, has been completely taken over by Virginia Waterleaf. Ugh! I hate that, and I have only myself to blame. Planted it myself. This year, of my 200 or tulips in that bed, only roughly 30 bloomed. I give up, time to figure out an alternative.


      1. First comment made on June 6, 2011. Under an assumed name (i.e. a name different from my real name littlejailbird).


    1. was the conversation about the money you stole on the bus in the winter or the summer? we were very surprised you were so open about your skullduggery


      1. That wasn’t my first comment; I think it was my first guest post. And I think you came up with alternative facts about what I said. 🙂


  14. I lurked on the Trail, off and on, for a while before I jumped in. I was aware of the Trial Balloon early on, but didn’t feel compelled to participate. I was working full time at the time, and didn’t have much discretionary time on my hands.

    Don’t recall the exact time or question that prompted me to pipe up, but like ljb I remember being surprised at how welcoming the group was. I’m guessing it was sometime in April or May of 2011.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. that is correct. you were plain jane from the start and the story came later. you came in feeling comfortable from the start. clyde was the only other one to come in so comfortably and opinionated

          Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, you’re right, Linda. On May 19th, 2011 I posted under the name of “Margaret of the West Side” (apparently taking the lead from you). I don’t believe it lasted long, but what do I know?


        2. Oh Linda, what a trip down memory lane. That late night game of charades was a hoot. We’d have done better if we had known each other, which, of course, we didn’t at the time.


  15. Remember what I said here first seven years ago??? I can’t even remember what I had for dinner on Saturday! 😉

    5,000 viewers??? Wow, I thought we were but a small, merry band of well under 50 people. I am impressed, Babooners! We rock.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 3 people

  16. I lurked on the trail for about a year before venturing a comment – maybe 2 years ago? I am not very consistent with making comments but do read it regularly. Having recently spent 16 days in northern Italy (fabulous), I am still catching up on the blogs I missed.
    I was impressed with the wonderful reception I got when first commenting and am very impressed with the number of viewers – well done Babooners! Maybe some day soon I will be able to join in on a Baboon gathering.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. milan and verona or up in the mountains?
      up in the mountains of italy they have dialects like the appalachians here where one dialect doesnt understand the other. a history of italy shows borders moving all over the place.
      two thinnest books in the world. the polish book of etiquette and the italian book of war heros

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I remember being very anxious posting for the first time on the Balloon blog. After that I just jumped in and kept writing.

    Still in Tacoma. Spent the day assembling IKEA furniture for daughter as she went to work. She is feeling appropriately overwhelmed by all the new things she is learning. We leave tomorrow for Spokane and home.

    We will be following a winter storm through the mountains of Montana as we drive east. The Homestake Pass on I 90 near Butte is predicted to get 2 feet of snow, so we have changed our route north to go through Great Falls instead of the southern route on I 90. We plan to be home late Friday.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. My first comment was on Trial Balloon on December 15, 2008. Apparently Radio Heartland was playing songs about mail that day, and I suggested Why Don’t You Write Me and Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis.

    I sure miss those days when we had music to accompany the blog, in real time.

    But there’s still music from time to time. Like this:

    Liked by 1 person

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